Now in bookstores everywhere…
In the sweeping new novel from the author of The Second Duchess, dangerous secrets lead a passionate young woman into a maze of murder and conspiracy as Mary, Queen of Scots, comes home to reign in a treacherously divided Scotland….
With her dying breath, Mary of Guise entrusts a silver casket to Rinette Leslie of Granmuir, who possesses the ancient gift of floromancy. Inside the casket, and meant only for the young Mary, Queen of Scots, are papers the old queen has painstakingly collected—the darkest secrets of every Scottish lord and explosive private prophecies prepared by Nostradamus. Rinette risks her life to keep the casket safe, but she makes a fatal mistake: she shows it to her beloved young husband. On the very day the young queen comes home, Rinette’s husband is brutally assassinated.
Devastated, Rinette demands justice from the queen before she will surrender the casket. Amid glittering masques and opulent weddings, courtly intrigues and Highland rebellions, the queen’s agents and Rinette herself search for the shadowy assassin. They are surrounded by ruthless men from all over Europe who will do anything to force Rinette to give up the casket—threatening her life, stripping her of her beloved castle by the sea, forcing her to marry a man she hates, and driving her from the man she has reluctantly grown to love. In the end, the flowers are all she can trust—and only the flowers will lead her safely home to Granmuir.
More Editions of The Flower Reader: UK on the left, Italy in the center, Germany on the right:
Praise for The Flower Reader:
Mistress Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Elizabeth Loupas writes a spellbinding story of Rinette Leslie, a spirited young woman who carries secrets and gifts that threaten the throne of Mary, Queen of Scotland in the 1560s. Assassins, secret caskets, and the whispers flowers can speak thread through the story. The flower imagery is lovely… —Karleen Koen, author of Through a Glass Darklyand Before Versailles
Elizabeth Loupas’ engaging second effort gives a thought-provoking peek into the inner workings of the court of Mary,Queen of Scots. Thick with intrigue and spiced with scandal, The Flower Reader is a lush, vibrant tapestry of a book. —Deanna Raybourn, author of The Dark Enquiry
The Flower Reader is a strongly plotted, well-written novel that evokes a believable sixteenth-century setting replete with details of period dress, food, architecture and manners… The novel builds suspense to a satisfying conclusion; fully engaged as I read, I was eager to discover how the pieces fit together… superb storytelling. —Julianne Douglas, Writing the Renaissance
…one of the most beautifully written and engrossing historical fiction novels… a strong plot that flows perfectly, a cast of fascinating characters, and the lovely theme of flowers throughout the novel. Rinette’s gift of reading flowers for the future and reading flowers through people is so intriguing… —Kayla Posney, Pittsburgh Examiner
Loupas demonstrates how meticulous research and lush details make for a fascinating novel, drawing readers into the court and life of Mary, Queen of Scots, through the eyes of a young woman whose ability to divine the future through flowers leads her to danger and love. The mystery and treachery of the era, and the political struggles, are all wonderfully portrayed. —Romantic Times
Mary Stuart is portrayed in all the fullness of her enchanting youth: impulsive and sweet, majestic and clever but also vain, naïve, temperamental and slightly neurotic. Her court is brought to life, as are the various factions and plots which rend Scotland asunder and lead to Mary’s downfall. Loupas accurately depicts a stormy, complex era by means of a page-turning mystery and romance. —Historical Novels Review
…the character of Rinette bursts forth from the start, showing her strong resolve to keep herself, her loved ones, her property and her resolve under murderous pressures! I loved her brave spirit and her willingness to stare down death and queens despite her youth, power and lack of weapons. Because of this beautiful, mystically talented and unabashedly strong woman this novel is one of my favorite historical novels this season… five stars. —A Bookish Libraria
In this richly dramatic and darkly potent historical novel, Elizabeth Loupas unveils a tale of dark intrigue imbued with drama, violence and love… —Raging Bibliomania